Walk Up

Walk Up (2022)

Walk Up screened at the London Korean Film Festival 2023. This is a transcript of my onstage introduction. Since his debut feature The Day a Pig Fell into the Well came out back in 1996, polyhyphenate filmmaker Hong Sang-soo has become a darling of Korea’s indie scene. It can be hard to keep up with…

Nightworld

Nightworld (2017)

Nightworld first published by SciFiNow Director Patricio Valladares is no stranger to FrightFest. His Hidden in the Woods (2012) – which he shot in his native Chile and then remade two years later in English – outraged some and delighted others with its shock tactics and constant lapses of taste, in a festival which many…

[Rec]2

[Rec]2 (aka Rec 2) (2009)

[Rec]2 first published by Film4 Summary: Jaume Balagueró and Paco Plaza return to direct this nerve-shredding sequel to Rec (and its quickie US remake Quarantine), further documenting the twists and turns of an unfolding demonic apocalypse.   Review: The original Rec (2007), with its terrifying tale of resident evil in a Barcelona apartment building, may have…

Rec

Rec (aka [Rec]) (2007)

Rec (aka [Rec]) first published by Little White Lies Cannibal Holocaust (1980) and The Blair Witch Project (1999) may have set the ball rolling, but it was the terrors of 11th September, 2001, recorded live by amateurs at the scene, that made reportage the vehicle of choice for today’s horror films, from Diary of the…

Mara (Pobochnyi effekt)

Mara (Pobochnyi effekt) (2020)

“I won’t live in a mausoleum,” complains singer/composer Olya (Marina Vasileva), in Mara, of the grand if monolithic apartment building into which she is about to move temporarily with her husband Andrey (Semyon Serzin). “Come on,” Andrey insists more encouragingly, “it’s a constructivist landmark!” In a way, they are both right about the nature of…

Gagarine

Gagarine (2020)

Fanny Liatard and Jérémy Trouilh’s feature debut opens with actual black-and-white newsreel footage of pioneering Russian cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin arriving in Ivry-sur-Seine, a southeastern suburb of Paris, before a cheering crowd of Caucasian locals. There, in 1963, he ceremonially inaugurated a housing project that bore his name, the Cité Gagarine – a groundbreaking socialist hero…

Penultimate

The Penultimate (Den Næstsidste) (2020)

A man traverses a barren field in the mist, and tethers his donkey to a leafless, lifeless tree before advancing until he reaches the towering exterior of a brutalist building. Shot (by DP Jacob Sofussen) very wide, this opening to writer/director Jonas Kærup Hjort’s feature debut The Penultimate (Den Næstsidste) is a single take, tracking…